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Market Research Analyst: The Right Career for You?

For those that enjoy working with numbers and working with people, a career as a market research analyst is one to consider. In this position, you might work for manufacturers, retailers, government agencies, industrial or service firms, charities, or marketing or research consultants.

This challenging job uses statistical analysis to help decide what to sell, who would buy it, how much they are willing to pay, and how to tap the market to drive revenue. Unlike many marketing roles, the research analyst isn’t a creative position but more so one of critical thinking and problem-solving.

To pursue a career as a market research analyst, the first step is to earn your bachelor’s degree in business. Here is what you should know about this dynamic career.

Market Research Analyst: Roles and Responsibilities 

The primary role of a market research analyst is to harvest and evaluate data and make recommendations that inform strategic decisions made by an organization. Your work would guide planning for product launches, elimination of under-performing products, operation expansion, and enhancing all aspects of marketing efforts.

Responsibilities and tasks assigned to market research analysts:

  • Decide the best means to gather relevant data.
  • Create surveys and design questionnaires.
  • Facilitate focus groups and conduct in-person interviews.
  • Develop new methods to obtain data using emerging technologies.
  • Identify target consumers and market segments.
  • Work with account executives, creative directors, and the marketing team.
  • Analyze and interpret data and communicate findings to stakeholders.
  • Make actionable recommendations based on research and analysis.
  • Formulate marketing strategies and optimize promotional activities.
  • Curate competitive analysis on other companies and products.
  • Monitor market trends and leverage understanding of online marketing methodology.

Salary and growth outlook for market research analysts

The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data reveals the median salary for market research analysts is $63,000. Opportunities for this career are impressive with the BLS indicating job growth for this role will grow 23 percent over the next decade, more than triple the average 7 percent growth anticipated across all jobs. Increased interest in tapping data to enhance marketing should drive job expansion.

Market Research Analyst: The Ideal Candidate 

If you relish digging into data and detecting trends, a market research analyst role could be your dream job. The ideal person for this career is someone fascinated by data but who also enjoys interpersonal communication and is comfortable with public speaking and taking center stage to make presentations of your findings.

One research study found that for entry-level market research analyst roles, employers place heavy emphasis on soft skills. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in business, potential employers look for an academic emphasis on decision science, statistics, and marketing.

Hard skills required for market research analysts:

  • Statistical analysis
  • Advanced computer and IT skills
  • Research skills
  • Qualitative and quantitative analytical abilities
  • Pattern recognition
  • Familiarity with statistical software

Soft skills required for market research analysts:

  • Excellent verbal and written communications
  • Listening and comprehension
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Thoroughness
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Interest in psychology and human behavior
  • Methodical and organized
  • Teamwork
  • Innate and undeniable curiosity

Begin Your Journey Today

As you pursue your bachelor’s degree in business, if you’re interested in becoming a market research analyst, consider taking courses in:

  • IT and computer science
  • Management
  • Social sciences
  • Economics
  • Applied decision methods
  • Advanced statistics
  • E-commerce
  • Psychology
  • Marketing

If you’re already working in marketing, you’re establishing valuable on-the-job experience. However, to advance to a market research analyst position, you’ll need a four-year degree from an accredited institution.

Pursuing your degree online while simultaneously gaining real-world experience can fast-track you to a desired position once you graduate and give you an advantage over traditional college students. One program to consider is Virginia Wesleyan University’s online BBA degree.

VWU’s track record is impressive with an extremely high employment rate for graduates. Their programs are veteran and military friendly and don’t require SAT, ACT, or GMAT testing. The online degree path allows you to manage your time and complete coursework on a flexible schedule with satisfying interactions with professors and fellow students. Get started today at VWU to complete your Bachelor of Arts in Business degree.